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Dan Dakich on the Big Ten Tournament, and Aaron Craft

Dan Dakich joined Jeff Thurn on Tuesday’s edition of Overtime. 

Dakich (@dandakich) hosts a radio show on ESPN, and is a college basketball analyst for the network. He used to coach college basketball at Bowling Green and West Virginia.

Thurn asked Dakich how much of favorite the No. 1 seed, Michigan Wolverines, are in the Big Ten tournament this weekend.

“That’s a really good question. I don’t know that they are. Wisconsin was playing really well, but they lost to Nebraska, and that’s going to happen when you go into an arena with 18,000 people. Michigan State with Appling, and Payne back, and the good thing for Michigan is their side of the bracket is a lot easier than the other side, with Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin.  I don’t know if they are, this probably as balanced as of Big Ten tournament as we’ve seen. You can make a case for a lot of teams, including Ohio State, who generally plays really well in this tournament and are coming off a big win over Michigan State.”

The Wolverines captured their first outright regular season Big Ten basketball title since the 1980’s.

Dakich tells how much senior point guard Aaron Craft means to Ohio State, and how Craft epitomizes what college basketball is all about.

“Yeah he really does, and I always catch hell because I talk about him so much. But I always say, you go be a 4.0 student, lead your team, have the most victories of any player at Ohio State, and come up big late in big games. I’ll talk about you, too. Craft has been great, and I was glad for him. I was talking to Thad Matta yesterday and he was really glad Craft ended his home career in the last minute of the game by out hustling Adrien Payne for a loose ball, made a free throw, missed a free throw, but made one and force two turnovers late to seal the win in his last home game. Some kids, and that’s just poetic justice, that’s him. What are you going to do, man. The guy is a 4.0 student, going to go to medical school, is an Academic All-American, his teammates love him and in fact, other coaches tell me that I downplay him too much. He’s just been great and you wish every kid was like him.”

Craft is averaging 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 2.6 steals this season for the Buckeyes.

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Catch Thurn on Overtime weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on ESPN 99.1

Rich Barnes/Getty Images

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